If you were in attendance at the Xavier Soccer Complex on Friday night, you had to wait a bit for fireworks. When the fireworks started, though, they came in bunches. Marquette answered a 60th minute Musketeers goal with two of their own after that and held on for a 2-1 win. It’s the first Big East win of the year for Marquette, moving their league record to 1-1-0 and their overall record to 4-3-1. Xavier drops to 4-3-1 overall and 0-2-0 in conference.
Perhaps the final score was forewarned to us as the match got started. Marquette recorded the first three shots of the match, including Connor Alba hitting the post in the 4th minute. Xavier got their legs under them eventually, logging six of the next seven shots of the match, including three that were blocked from getting to the net, one that hit a post, and two more that were saved by MU keeper Jackson Weyman.
All of this in the first 28 minutes.
The half ended with the two sides knotted at seven shots a piece, and the Musketeers had made two saves on the Golden Eagles, matching Weyman’s stops at the other end. One of those was a team save on an AJ Franklin header in the 40th minute, with Taylor Crull putting his own head between the ball and the gaping net, so you maybe got a sense that the floodwater were stressing the dam’s integrity.
In any case, it was a throw in coming in the 60th minute that broke the scoreless deadlock. Taylor Crull was Mr. Right Place, Right Time again. He found himself just far enough to the far post off Cameron Belle’s throw, that when a MU defensive header propelled the ball further along the goal mouth, Crull tipped it in before Weyman could react and track it down. 1-0 to the Musketeers in a battle between two teams that lost their Big East opener.
Marquette didn’t have to wait long to level the match out, as Franklin found Josh Coan speeding towards the net in the 65th minute. Check out this one-on-one move that Coan pulls off to freeze both the defender running with him as well as the keeper:
Josh Coan (@jcoan98) scores his team-high fourth goal of the season to tie up the match in the 65th minute! A.J. Franklin gets credit for the assist, the first of his career.— Marquette Soccer (@marquettesoccer) September 28, 2019
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Marquette second goal of the match came about 12 minutes later, as Connor Alba’s quick feet found Alex Mirsberger available down the right hand side. Mirsberger’s low cross found nothing coming through the middle except for Christian Marquez. The freshman tipped it in for his second game-winning goal in as many matches, and had a very understated celebration given the circumstances.
The Golden Eagles take the lead with Christian Marquez' second goal of the season!— Marquette Soccer (@marquettesoccer) September 28, 2019
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Xavier would muster up four more shots through the remainder of the match, forcing Weyman into two saves and missing wide on the other two. Marquette had their own chances to tack on insurance, with Lukas Sunesson hitting the post and another Sunesson strike getting blocked out for a corner kick in the 78th minute.
Here’s a full highlight reel for you, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and the Big East Digital Network:
Check out the highlights from tonight's 2-1 comeback victory over Xavier on the road!#WeAreMarquette | #MarquetteSoccer pic.twitter.com/Mla88TfKUR— Marquette Soccer (@marquettesoccer) September 28, 2019
And how about some post-match comments from head coach Louis Bennett?
Coach Bennett (@Loobe21) gives his instant reaction to his team’s second consecutive victory on the road.#WeAreMarquette | #MarquetteSoccer pic.twitter.com/IES70ZXETr— Marquette Soccer (@marquettesoccer) September 28, 2019
Up Next: With three league points in their pocket, Marquette now finds themselves in a five-way tie for first place in the Big East..... mostly because MU/XU was the only Friday night match in the league. That probably won’t hold up past Saturday’s action, but hey, still counts. MU will return to action when they host Saint Louis (3-3-0) on Tuesday night at Valley Fields, and then Big East play resumes on October 4th, when #9 St. John’s (7-1-0, 1-0-0) comes to town. That #9 ranking might not hold up by then, as the Red Storm lost to #25 Maryland back on Monday. The poll came out on Tuesday, but it still shows the Johnnies as undefeated. We’ll see what happens with that, not to mention their Saturday night road contest against Butler.